The Environmental Working Group is adding a cleaning products database to their website this fall. For now, they have a preview up with some common household cleaning products that aren’t all that safe to have around the home. They’re dangerous to inhale, touch, or may cause cancer or other health concerns. Many cleaning products include ingredients banned in other countries because they’re considered too dangerous to human health and/or the environment. Even though the full list isn’t out yet, it’s a good list to check to see if you want to change some of the products you’re using.
My home did pretty well by what they have listed already, probably because I mostly use baking soda and vinegar to clean whenever possible. I fully expect to see some of the cleaners I still use listed when the full list comes out. I know I’m not perfect at this stuff. It will be good to see the better alternatives in any case.
What I really like is that even with the short list they’re showing right now, they often discuss alternatives or give advice on how to spot problem products.
The list also covers greenwashed products, such as Simple Green. I remember that one from when I was growing up, and it’s true that the spray bottle makes too easy to use full strength, even though the instructions say to dilute it. Happened all the time, and I have no doubt that it was a huge waste.
And of course I pretty much chuckled at the air fresheners section. I don’t use air fresheners at all because they’ve never made sense to me. Open windows do so much better, and if I want a scent in the air, there’s lavender from my garden or the dried oranges we keep in bowls. The scents aren’t strong, but they’re nice, as well as pretty. No manmade scents required, although I’ll grant that natural scents can have their own problems, especially for those with allergies.
In any case, you can check out the start of the list now, plus they’re offering a guide to greener cleaning for a $5 donation. Sounds like a good way to get a head start on having safer chemicals in your home.